Abraham Lincoln Essay

Submitted By shawneth
Words: 516
Pages: 3

Today he is known as one of the greatest American presidents, but at the time of his election no one would have predicted Lincoln's success. On November 6, 1860, Abraham Lincoln was elected as the sixteenth president of the United States. The outcome of the election directly led to the secession of seven states and ultimately, the Civil War. During his presidency he dealt with the cohesiveness of the Union and slavery.
As a political leader, Lincoln's views about slavery changed as he had to worry about the Union and all of the people within it. No longer could he view slavery as he had in his earlier life, but he still deemed it wrong. In an earlier debate he stated that the inferior races were equal in their right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, but he also knew that it was impossible to produce a perfect social and political equality between blacks and whites. Lincoln was concerned about freeing the slaves, but stated, "My paramount objective in this struggle is to save the Union, and it is not either to save or destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slaves, I would do it, if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it." This shows that Lincoln's primary objective at that time was to save the Union, because he did not believe it should be split by an issue such as slavery. Even though he did not approve of slavery, it did not mean that he wanted to abolish slavery.
Lincoln had a number of ideas on how to tackle slavery. He warned the states of the Confederacy on September 22, 1862, that if they did not return to the Union, their slaves would be freed forever. In his famous Emancipation Proclamation, Abraham Lincoln announced that all slaves in the Confederate States would be freed on January 1, 1863. The Emancipation Proclamation hurt the South because it discouraged France and Britain from entering